BBL - New York

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I am getting a Brazilian Butt Lift this Friday...

I am getting a Brazilian Butt Lift this Friday (Valentine's Day!) I wish I had started this review earlier because I'm in full blown panic mode, after months of feeling 100% certain this was the right decision. The things keeping me going: imagining my figure in 3 months and being able to wear tight & barely-there dresses this summer, the knowledge that I get to have a percocet-induced House of Cards marathon this weekend with no interruptions or responsibilities, and the wonderful fact that I will be so out of it after surgery I won't even notice that it's Valentine's Day and there's tacky hearts and flowers wherever you turn!

I have thought about lipo for years. I have a weird body. I am 32, relatively fit and slim, but very disproportionate. I have skinny chicken legs and arms, but a huge belly and flanks. My butt is tiny and flat, and my waist is bigger than my hips. Imagine finding pants to fit that kind of muffin! Anything that fits in the waist completely sags on my ass and legs. I also have a LOT of back flab (bra rolls) and giant armpits. I believe the formal names are anterior and posterior axillary folds :)

On Friday I am getting lipo on my abdomen, waist, flanks, bra rolls and arm pits. Then I'm getting it injected in my ass! I have discussed what I am hoping for with my surgeon, the marvelous Dr. David Shafer, but I can't help but worry I will turn out like that chick with the giant cement-filled butt in the famous plastic surgery botch-job.

I chose Dr. Shafer after a LOT of research. Real Self was so helpful! Initially I had made an appointment several months ago with Dr. Juan Carlos Gomez in Cali, Colombia. He did a couple of friends of mine and distant cousins, and they raved about him. He quoted me $3700 for the lipo (without the butt fat transfer, which I hadn't quite researched enough then). It didn't work out timing-wise with my job, and I had read so many horror stories about surgeries going wrong and then having absolutely no recourse. I want to be able to go back to my Doc for post-op checkups and not have to fly back to Colombia if something goes wrong. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos of procedures done in Latin America and the facilities look sub par in a lot of them. A clean, sterile environment with top of the line equipment is crucial to me.

So Dr. Shafer is charing me a LOT more, but I feel so much safer and confident. This is a major surgery and I'm not going to risk my body and my life just to save money. So far he has been great. I went to a few consultations and felt really comfortable with him. He's kind, honest and funny. His staff, particularly Fiorhina ("Fi") are just phenomenal. I have called Fi almost every day this week and she has been nothing but helpful and friendly. Dr. Shafer also told me he had lipo done, so he knows exactly what it's like and what to expect. That really made me feel a lot better to know that.

3 days post op and done juicing

Aka leaking. Right after my surgery until the next morning I was leaking like a murder victim. Nasty!

I didn't have a chance to add pics of the before, so here they are. I will add pics of the after soon! Right now I'm still in the compression garment and it's got nasty blood stains on it despite washing. Underneath my bruising looks like I got run over by a car. But not as bad as I expected. I just have bruising on my lower and upper back, lower abdomen, and cleavage area. (He made the incisions for the armpit flab right under my boobs.)

I can already tell the surgery made such a HUGE difference. I have waist, for the first time in my life! Dr. Shafer took off at least 4 inches. Even with the swelling I have right now, I can tell. My ass also looks great- it's round and perky, but not ginormous. That's exactly how I wanted it.

Before I did my surgery I did a 30 day Bikram Yoga Challenge. Part of it was to get myself in shape to survive this surgery. So glad I did- you need REALLY strong abs to be able to get yourself in and out of bed without killing yourself. I know you're not supposed to lose weight before the surgery since you want to have as much fat as possible to transfer to your butt, but I wasn't going for a JLo butt so I was ok with it. The other part of my motive was to be able to say I got this shape through yoga. I'm pretty sure most people I know would get super judgy if they knew I got lipo. Especially my family. Well, the results so far are totally believable!

The parts that hurt the most are my butt and stomach. My armpits and back flab don't hurt at all. I got my mons pubis done too, aka FUPA (fat upper pubic area) and Dr. Shafer warned me that my vagina would be all swollen, but damn my cooch looks like Jabba the Hut gave birth to 20 Jabba babies in quick succession. I can see it going down already and thankfully no one's gonna be looking at it for a few weeks.

The scars look like they will be tiny. They have black stitches in them right now and I think they'll be coming out during my post op next week.

I had a horrible dream my [very sweet] ex boyfriend was choking me to death. I woke up and was like WTF and realized it was because I'm not used to sleeping on my stomach and the pillow was suffocating me. Lol.

Sleeping is the hardest part. It hurts so bad to turn over. I am trying not to sleep on my side too much bc I feel it squishing my butt a little bit. The only plus of sleeping on your stomach is that either the drool or the snoring will wake you up every couple of hours, and then you can pee and walk around so you don't get a blood clot.

So to wrap it up, I survived, I'm alive, the pain isn't as bad as I thought but it's a hella lot worse than the "slight discomfort" some surgeons say you'll experience! I would die if I didn't have the percocet.

4 days post BBL

Thank you so much to the commenters for your support! It really makes a difference knowing there are people out there going through the same thing, or contemplating it! It was SO worth it, I am already so happy with my new body. Here are some after pics. They are not great because I'm still struggling. The compression garment is irreparably stained from the first day despite washing as instructed a few times. I should have bought the black one. It's also not long enough for my torso, so I can't stand up totally straight without it pushing down on my cleavage, which hurts a lot. Sucks that I have to wear this thing for a few more weeks.

I had to get the one that's a bodysuit with arms and legs. (Not full length sleeves and legs, but around 8"). That's because I had my pits and butt done. The lady at Falk Surgical Supply, Pam (who is SO kind and helpful!) where I got my garment fitted didn't want me to get the leotard kind that has tank top straps and ends at the butt, because the edges might cut into the incisions and the parts I had lipoed. So today I just cut the legs and sleeves a bit. There's still a couple inches to support, but I didn't need all that coverage on parts of my body I didn't touch. That thing was getting damn itchy!

One TMI detail- the compression garment has a hole in the crotch to go to the bathroom. Thank the lord for that bc I would have died if I had to take that thing off every time I had to pee! It hurts a lot to put on and off, especially zipping over the lower abdomen. Hate.

You can see, despite the swelling increasing quite a bit over the past two days after surgery, that my waist is so much smaller, and I've got junk in the trunk!

My bruising is starting to turn bluish grey in some areas which is good. I can function on my own now thankfully. I had friends taking care of me and staying over this weekend. I wasn't sure before the surgery how much help I'd need, but now I know I couldn't have done it on my own. I needed help getting out of bed, picking stuff up that was below knee level, even covering myself with blankets in bed the first two days.

Other things I'm so glad that I had:
- ginger ale
- emergencees. multivitamins make you throw up on an empty stomach and you can't really eat much the first few days. so these were a godsend. they have both electrolytes and multivitamins. And no vitamin E which you're not supposed to take at all
- jello. it's still hard to eat real food. I didn't eat at all until sunday (did my surgery on a friday). So I was really weak and standing up was hard. Jello helped me get up and take a shower and not fall over!
- berries and veggies. I was craving fresh, easy to eat foods. You're not supposed to have salt afterwards to deal with the swelling, so these were great.
- a shitload of gauze. I made a mistake and bought gauze pads from the pharmacy. I should have just bought a giant roll of gauze, the loose kind. I didn't leak after Saturday, but it all came out on Fri day and night and a lot more gauze would have been handy. I used up two boxes of gauze pads just in one go.

The shower curtain to cover my bed was really great. I put it under the sheets. If I had to do it again I'd just put the shower curtain down and a crappy towel on top to lie on and juice all over. Then just throw both away. The bloody lipo juice does not come out easily despite washing with detergent and oxy clean spray.

My vag looks back to normal thank god!

And the wonderful anaesthesiologist!

I forgot to review Dr. Virginia Wade, my anaesthesiologist. When I told my friend I was doing lipo and that I'd spent a huge amount of time researching Dr. Shafer, the surgeon, he said you better research the anaesthesiologist too bc if anyone's gonna kill you it'll be her!

So she was great. Very nice, professional and friendly. Her office was beautiful- on the Upper East Side a block from the Guggenheim, right on Central Park. The waiting room looked like a fancy spa, and there was soothing music playing the whole time.

Her assistant Carol was so sweet. I told her I was terrified when they were putting me under, and she held my hand and said some soothing stuff, and gave me a Valium.

I am afraid I offended her horribly when I woke up. I was so drugged out and messed up. I had a terrible dream while under that Michelle Bachman became President! OMG. I was freaking out and rambling on and on.

When they put the compression garment on me, I started cursing. I was like Holy Mother of God Jesus Fucking Christ! I think maybe she was really religious and I feel like I remember her asking me if I believe in Jesus. I was like "NO!" and offended her even more. Oops. Sorry Carol!

Anyway they probs get crazies in there all the time who are drugged out after surgery. So hopefully she isn't mad I took the Lord's name in vain... :)

Pukey and itchy =(

I had to take off the compression garment. Turns out it was too small for me. The first two days it was ok but I have swollen up a LOT since then and it just doesn't fit anymore. Last night I kept waking up in pain and this morning my right leg was all bruised. Weird since I didn't do anything to my legs. I realized the compression garment was blocking off circulation, so my doc advised me to take it off. On Fri I'll get it checked out. Meanwhile luckily I have a g-string shaper from Victoria Secret that I'm wearing instead and it is working well.

I was also worried because my new but was being squished through the crotch hole in the compression garment. I would be so upset if I recovered and had a weird extra butt or dents from the garment. And I couldn't close it or zip it up as easily.

I posted a question about this here on Real Self and a bunch of docs responded with helpful answers. Turns out that a lot of the garments run small. I bought a medium but it was too small. Before surgery I wore a size 4 or 6. Medium tops and small bottoms. I think the medium garment is really a small. I don't know yet if I'll have to get a new one. Sucks bc it was $240.

I am not doing so well today. I have been really pukey all day long. I think it's because I took my Cipro this morning almost on an empty stomach. I threw up a couple times, no fun. It hurts my abs so much to throw up, cough or laugh.

I am also so itchy. I put baby oil on after showering and that seemed to help a bit. Now massaging cortizone cream on, which is also helping... but I just read an article in the NYTimes about itching, and now it's a psychosomatic disaster with new itches springing up everywhere. I am worried about sleeping because percocet is giving me such bad dreams. I will probably have a dream about that 80s movie Hellraiser where the itchy mental patient peels off all her skin bc she thinks she's got bugs all over. Egggh.

Feeling so much better, and seeing results!

I'm 9 days post-op and finally feel good enough to go out and resume a normal life. Friday was my post-op and the first time I ventured outside for longer than 15 minutes. It was intense- I had to take the subway to my appointment and it was packed. I almost passed out, felt so dizzy.

Getting my stitches out (11 incisions) was the most painful experience of my life. I really did not anticipate that. It hurt more than anything else in this whole process! I guess the difference is that it's sharp, shooting pain as opposed to more long-term, ongoing pain/discomfort from lipo recovery.

Most of my scars are minimal and look like they'll disappear entirely in a month or so, except for the two on the top part of my butt. One looks like it opened up again. And the one on my back where the bra strap closes is pretty bad, as anticipated. I don't really care though!

I am off the percocet/oxycodone and feel a lot better. My stomach is stiff and sometimes when I move I get sharp shooting pains in various areas. Particularly my left underarm, not sure what's up there. My butt doesn't hurt anymore.

The best part is that you can actually tell I have a new butt!

You can't really see the results of the lipo on my stomach, armpits or back yet because I'm still so swollen. But as you can see, the bruising has been rapidly disappearing! I still have bruising in the bikini area and cleavage but it's not too bad at all.

1.5 months post-op update

So I have been a slacker about updating this review. Mostly because me and my new ass have been out on the TOWN!

I look a lot better. But not how I'd imagine. My butt really isn't that big. It's a huge improvement from the flat ass I had before, but it's still pretty small. I know that I'm still swollen and in recovery, but I am not as thin as I'd like to be from the lipo either- particularly my belly and armpit areas. You cannot even tell I had my armpits done, as you can tell from the picture.

I can feel that my back rolls are at least 1/3 the size of what they were before, but they still bulge over my bra strap. (And not because my bra is too small).

I am the same weight as before the surgery, which is weird to me. I know that it makes sense, since I had the fat transferred and not just removed. But I barely ate anything for a week after the surgery, so I expected to at least shed a couple pounds. At least my face looks thinner.

Hopefully once I'm fully recovered I will be skinnier!

In terms of pain, I feel a LOT better, like 80% better. My stomach and sides are super tight feeling. But I do a lymphatic drainage self-massage everyday with cocoa butter, and that really helps.

I went to see a great lymphatic drainage masseuse, Nicole Psomas. She is super pricey ($250 first session) but she teaches you how to do self-massage and gives you a lot of good advice.

I knew that I was supposed to avoid salt and alcohol during the recovery, but I had been pretty bad about it. Well, Nicole reinforced that concept (and she had lipo herself), as well as continuing to wear a compression garment religiously, and since adhering to those bits of advice I can tell my recovery has improved a lot.

I bought a new compression garment (thank GOD.) It's a spanx, I got it in both black and pink/nude. (Pic of the pink one attached). It's SO much better and you can wear it under clothes without the neckline showing. You can wear your own bra with it too (or not, if you have small boobs. It gives you enough lift to go braless). You wouldn't be able to start off wearing this type of garment right away after surgery though, because it's really hard to get into. It would hurt so bad pulling this on during the first two weeks after surgery.

It has no ass hole, but has a crotch that comes undone with bra hooks. It's not easy to open and close to be honest. But the great part about this garment is that the back of it is high, so it provides compression for the area where I had my back flab removed.

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